Reformed Grits


I never learned to swim
April 3, 2008, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Life

Unlike my children who are rarely dry in the summer, I never really grew up around a pool.  Oh sure I visited the JCC with my friend Jen and if we went to a family reunion or something I’d wade around a pool with the cousins but for the most part my summers as a child just simply revolved around getting out of our un-air-conditioned house in downtown Birmingham.  I played outside and spent a lot of time at my neighbor, Ivy’s house.  We walked to the library, because you could do that then, and we went to the mall.  But we didn’t have access to a pool.  As a result, I never learned to swim.  Don’t offer to teach me; I’m stubborn and unteachable and don’t like to put my face in the water without holding my nose.  Don’t tell me I can blow bubbles and stuff because I’ve passed the point where I can do that.  My window of opportunity has passed… and I can’t swim.  But I can dog-paddle!  I look like an idiot but I can flip around like a puppy just long enough for a life-guard to rescue me, but no more.  I can move a bit on my back but that’s the extent of it. 
I was thinking of this just this week when someone asked me how my week was going.  I can’t swim.  I can only dog-paddle.  I’m not doing anything really well, I’m just hanging on until the Lifeguard rescues me.   I’m only able to do enough of my job to make it at the time; I’m not able to work ahead.  I only have enough laundry for the day.  I am living on my supply of groceries from the basement plus one trip I squeezed in to Sam’s, without a list, and threw some things in my cart.  There’s no time for good planning.  There’s no time to look ahead to next week on the calendar.  There’s no time to make lists.  I’m only surviving and getting through one minute, one hour, one day at a time.  This morning in the hustle and bustle of getting everyone in the car and out the door after being up until midnight shuffling Jojo through his Scotland geography fair project, and finagling it into the car before I rushed them off to school and then helping him set it up while the little girls waited in the car because I had to rush back home and bathe them so I could get Sugie to her 5 year check up at 9:45– Mr. Grits and I looked at each other in one of those moments where our eyes met, we both deeply inhaled and exhaled and came at each other with outstretched arms.  "What happened?"  I asked?
"I’m not sure, " he said.  What we meant was, "Where did our lives get so insane?"  We both knew it.  How did our lives get so cluttered? 
I’m thankful that we both recognize it and are on the same page.  Ironically, there’s no time to sit and think and ponder and plan what we can do about it.  It’s sink or swim, baby, and I suppose it’s not too late to learn after all.

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7 Comments so far
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Had similiar morning… got halfway to our day’s destination and realized that I had no food for anyone’s lunch… everything feels so out of control. I mentioned this to one friend today and she said, “it’s time to start saying no to some good things.”

ummm, yeah. Can’t really say no to any of the insanity that is swirling around right now so I need to figure out how to manage it.

Sadly, I’ve never been a very good manager.

I can swim, though. But it’s just not fun swimming in such muddy water.

Comment by Meg

O.k..now I have Steven Curtis Chapman’s song in my head, “Sink or swim I’m divin’ in!”…sounds like you’ve been pushed in.

Wish I could give you more help but I seem to be just keeping my face above water myself.

Next week…I’ll try to help you next week. Have your laundry ready and I will come get it. 🙂

Comment by caroline

You’re not the only one flapping around aimlessly! My life won’t settle down until May 25th!

Comment by distybug

I’m having a hard time even dog paddling…and I have half as many children as you! I feel like I’m stuck in the spin cycle!
Meg’s comment reminded me of something Emilie Barnes says, “Say no to the good and save your ‘yes’ for the best!”
Easier said than done….there are MANY things you cannot say “no” to. Wish I could say no to my laundry!

Comment by penny

Glad I’m not the only one that feels that way! Sometimes I feel like we all pass each other on the way out the door for one activity or another.I Hear we’ll miss all this busy-ness one day–I know I will–BUT it is crazy now. hang in there and let me know if you need me to help out–playdate with sugie or babysitting Bee!!??

Comment by kent

I love that Caroline has offered to do your laundry next week. Was she serious?
I would offer, but I can never get mine done cause I am always doing the nursery laundry.

I am looking forward to the days of summer~just hangin’ out by the pool w/o a care in the world! Just think of that~we’ll stay in the shallow end, Kay!

Comment by Andrea

I can not believe I can actually do something that you can’t???? OK, you have to come hang out with me at my pool this summer. It is totally up your alley…no need to swim-it’s the new “beach entry” so we can just sit in the shallow together (you the non-swimmer and me the big fat whale!!!)

Comment by Wendy




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